Photo by Corey Husic

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Phenology Note: April 17, 2011

Several spring ephemerals have started blooming like these dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria).

The flowers of dutchman's breeches are some of the first native wildflowers of spring.

Not long after the dutchman's breeches start blooming, the flowers and leaves of bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) appear in damp woodlands areas.

This weekend, the earliest "fiddleheads" of the ubiquitous hay-scented fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula) poked out of the leaf litter.
Off the forest floor, the leaves of serviceberry (Amelanchier sp.) are bursting from the buds.

In the wettest areas of the woods, the bright green skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) are beginning to emerge from the damp soil.

Growing alongside the skunk cabbage, these turtlehead (Chelone glabra) shoots are pushing through the wet ground.

Another common plant species of wet areas is spicebush (Lindera benzoin).  The small, yellow flowers dot the branches of this small, woodland shrub.  In southern Monroe County, these began blooming this weekend.

 A close-up of a spicebush flower.

Although lots of flowers and plants are showing big changes this time of year, it is also important to take note of the animals inhabiting these same areas.  This Mourning Cloak butterfly stopped for a rest in the sun before continuing along the wooded path.

At the end of the recent warm days, the woods have been filled with insects, which are food for hungry predators like this bat that was found flying along the edge of a forest.

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